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Light Bulbs

Light Bulb Coatings Revealed

Most light bulbs are available with a variety of coatings, or, no coating at all. Clear bulbs are useful when a stark, intense luminance is desired. If clear incandescent and halogen bulbs are fully exposed, the human eye will see the illuminated tungsten filament directly. This is used to good effect in Edison-style historic reproduction and vintage bulbs.

Clear bulbs can create hard shadows that in most cases are not desirable. One solution is "inside frost," the most common bulb coating. It is applied to most bulb types and sizes to provide soft appearing illumination. Frost produces moderate diffusion of the light with almost no reduction in light output.

Some bulbs come with a white coating. Finely powdered white silica coats the inside of the bulb. The result is more diffuse light than inside frost, minimizing shadows with very little absorption of light.

So called "daylight" incandescent bulbs are coated with neodymium that gives a bluish appearance to the light. These bulbs are not true full-spectrum bulbs; rather, they give the appearance of daylight by filtering out the warmer wavelengths light.

Other specialty coatings, such as for shatter-resistance, are also available. If you have any special coating needs please call us.

Confused by Light Bulb Descriptions?

Light bulb descriptions can seem arcane, but they tell a lot about the bulb before you ever read the fine print. Let's look at two examples. Many bulb descriptions include a letter followed by a number. A few examples: A19, BR30, PAR20, ED28, T8. The letters are a code for bulb shape (Bulged Reflector, etc) and the number is the diameter of the bulb, at the widest point, in 1/8 inch increments. To calculate the diameter in inches, simply divide the number by 8. Now look at a typical fluorescent bulb description: F32T8/841. Translation: F is fluorescent, 32 is watts, T is shape (tubular), 8 is diameter (1 inch) and 841 gives you both CRI and color temperature information. The first number tells you the color temperature range; in this case in the 80s. The second two numbers indicate color temperature, so 41 means 4100K.